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Bristol Translates greatly expanded due to popular demand

19 May 2021

For the first time this summer, the School of Modern Languages (SML) will host Bristol Translates, a literary translation summer school. Applications have come in from all over the world, exceeding the organisers’ most optimistic expectations.

‘We had originally planned for 80 participants enrolled across eleven workshops, but had to double or even triple our offer in most languages’, says Ros Schwartz, one of the two directors of Bristol Translates. On the day of the application deadline, 270 participants have signed up for the three days of intensive text-focused work in Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, Czech, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Workshops are taught by some of the best-known translators into English from these languages. ‘The quality of tutors is almost beyond words’, says Christophe Fricker, SML’s Academic Lead on the summer school. ‘Being able to learn from the best has obviously got a huge appeal for people at various stages of their careers as translators.’ Bristol Translates is open to language lovers with or without a track record in translation. Tutors and organisers will aim to ensure diversity of experience as they assign participants to workshops.

Fourteen participants will be supported by full bursaries. ‘This was one of the most extraordinary things that happened as we started organising the summer school’, explains co-director Amanda Hopkinson. ‘A recent graduate of the University of Bristol’s MA Translation approached us and offered to sponsor two places for refugee/asylum seekers or people on a low income. What an amazing, generous gesture!’ The sponsor has asked to remain anonymous. Inspired by her donation, SML decided to offer seven more full bursaries along the same criteria.

In addition, two full bursaries are sponsored by the Instituto Cervantes London for Spanish translators and three, by funds from an ESRC Impact Acceleration grant, for translators from Cameroon. Funding towards Bristol Translates has been provided by the Goethe Institut, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Québec Government Office in London, Institute for Literary Translation, Banipal magazine, Japan Society, Institut Roman Llull and Czech Lit.

Bristol Translates will happen online from 5 to 8 July 2021. Organisers hope to host next year’s summer school on campus.


Further information


Dr Christophe Fricker

Academic Lead, Bristol Translates

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